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scleral (also known as haptic) contact lenses

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
It can take a long time to get an up-to-date response or contact with relevant users.


New Member
Apr 2, 2001
Does anyone have any information on scleral or haptic contact lenses. I know that Mayol started using them in 1970 but I have no information on effectiveness, cost, health risks or benefits, availability or where to get them, if they need to be costum made and how to do that.
Reply from Jacques-Jean Mayol

Just received this response to about scleral lenses. Encouraging but my questions about health risks, cost, etc. are still unanswered.

Hello, Mark

Of what I understand there are different kinds. My father used a hard proto type on his dive which were custom made for his eye size and you could see quite well in them.

They have soft ones now that are very expensive, but are easy to loose since they have a tendency to fall out and must be worn with a mask that let in water.

We are all waiting for someone to develop something like the crockodiales have.

Thanks for your e-mail, good luck and safe diving. Regards, Jean-Jacques Mayol

Has anyone used the soft scleral lenses with a water filled mask? Certainly would handle the compression problem if it works and doesn't seriously impair vision. Mark
Angus, maybe you've heard of them, but if you haven't, Eric Fattah of Canada has invented fluid goggles, which one fills with water and can then see underwater quite well apparently. They are reviewed in Freediver, a magazine and website from the U.K. There is a website for the goggles; I think it's www.fluidgoggles.com or www.fluid-goggles.com Hope this helps. Cheers, Erik

Keith, patience pays off. I had about given up on any leads on this. Anyway I went to the site and emailed them. I will post a thread based on what I find out. I am curious how you came across this as I have made multiple searches and never found that particular site. Thanks for taking the time to let us know about this. Good diving, Mark
for real

I got a terse reply from the web cite that simply told me what information they would need and the cost. Cost is about 512 Eurodollars which I think is about 300-400 US dollars. Time to start saving. Thanks for the tip, Angus
Let's see, how *did* I find that site? It wasn't via a search engine, it was by a bunch of link-surfing.

I think I started at www.freedivehawaii.com and followed one of the links to someone's site. I think it was Umberto Pelizzari's (www.umbertopelizzari.com). Yeah, that's it. There I followed the "Apnea" link, then the "Technical evolution of immersion in apnoea" link. From that page there is a "special lens" link in the text that goes to www.otticarocchi.com.

Hmmm, as of today (6/25/01), 512 Euros is ~$440 US dollars. That's not cheap, but not really that outrageous for custom made special purpose contacts. I'll bet they're a royal pain to put in and take out, though...


Unfortunately I am moving to Utah for my doctoral internship. How is a freediver supposed to survive in a desert for a whole year when working as an indentured servant? So I will probably not order a pair of lenses until next spring. What would be the point as I doubt I would get much use out of them anyway. From what I am learning about them it appears that divers using scleral or haptic lenses are using them under goggles filled with fresh water. I wonder if this is simply a means of protecting the lenses from dislodging and getting lost or if it also has beneficial effects on comfort and performance? I would still like to know what the health risks or benefits are if anyone knows. From what I have read about general scleral lenses suggests that if properly fitted they are quite comfortable and that even children use them. The original concept was developed over 120 years ago and was on the first workable contact lense developed back in the forties and fifties. They also appear to last for a very long time; at least a decade with proper care. If so think of all the masks, antifog solutions, missed opportunities due to fogging and leaks, and pressure problems that could be avoided. But now I just have to hope to here from someone who has actually used them. But then Christmas is coming... Angus
Diving in Utah

Utah, eh? I ran across a site a few days ago about diving in Utah... (I've been doing a lot of surfing for diving info lately).

Check out www.utahdiving.com

It seems to be mainly SCUBA oriented, but it still might be worth looking at. I found it while looking for info on cameras. It's got a section on diving sites in Utah. I'll bet most of them are quite suitable for freediving.

Being over a thousand miles from the ocean is no excuse for not freediving! ;)

Re: Diving in Utah

Being over a thousand miles from the ocean is no excuse for not freediving! ;)

I'll second that! Erik, from the dustbowl.;)
Last edited:
Thanks for the boost

Ok Ok I'll quit whining. I was just a little worried that Utah won't have much freediving - as if I was diving much now as it is with working on my dissertation and my last couple of classes before leaving for my internship. To make matters worse my brother Octo keeps calling about his adventures down in Santa Cruz. First he takes the Krack-LeMasters course and then has been diving every weekend and last weekend speared his first fish. AND I just read Carlos Eyles the Last of the Blue Water Hunters and I have gained twenty pounds ....Arrgggh, what was I think when I thought it would be cool to be a pediatric neuropsychologist. (this isn't whining this is bitching) But I keep telling myself one more year and then I will have a life. And I'll arrange for Erik, Keith, and Octo and I to meet in Belize and .... At least I have rich fantasy life. Anyway, Keith thanks for the lead on the www.Utahdiving.com. There is a hot salt lake in Utah that is stocked with tropical fish that includes several nurse sharks up to six feet in length. Really! Its called Bonneville Seabase. In other lakes there is a spearfishing season and the weird thing is that it is legal for scuba divers to spearfish. Go figure. About an hour from where we will be living there is acavern with a 18m deep pool that is 96 degree F year round. So I quess I'll get by. Ok now I'm done whining and bitching. I have been diving once since Belize last March. It was in a lake that was about 50 degrees F. My Picasso 7mm was wonderful. Just because I'll be a thousand miles from the ocean and in a desert is no excuse not to freedive. (What I just said sounds vaguely familiar) Thanks for the boost guys. Try and be conscious when you surface, Angus
Scleral contact lenses

I recently inquired about these lenses, as well, and got the same short response. I still have loads of questions regarding ease of use for the recreational freediver. If anyone out there is fluent in Italian it would probably help. I've dreamt of these things forever and finally found a source and can't get anywhere :head
Scleral contacts

For those of you interested in scleral contacts, remember that fluid goggles are much more comfortable and easier to put on and off, and much better for your eyes. I'm sorry but the fluidgoggles.com site is currently down. We have many people on the waiting list for goggles, but a few pairs are still in my possession in the mean time, and I might be willing to sell them for a premium! You can see pictures of me wearing the goggles at http://www.holdyourbreath.ca/recordpics.htm.

If you want to be added to the waiting list for goggles, e-mail me at
with subject 'fluid goggles waiting list'

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
It's possible, but considering you'd have to go through your doctor to get them anyways, you may as well ask her about it. She's familiar with your case and will be able to give you a definite answer, where anybody else can only speculate.
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